Monday, August 31, 2015

Retirement? What does it look like?

 I made the decision with my husband early in the year that I would remove myself from the daily work as his office manager. This is something that has been on my mind for quite awhile.
I am a good organizer, but I don't like doing it. I'm just not made to do this kind of work as having to balance books, meet requirements created by institutions such as Medicaid, AHCA, CLIA, and other agencies who oversee medical practices are numerous and ever changing.
 The stress of it all over these past ten years put me into the hospital six times as I have a tendency to keep my energy blocked. It's gotta go somewhere, so it ends up back where it started and I get sick. I need to feel that I have certain freedoms and having to answer to agencies who are constantly changing the rules is exhausting, frustrating and seemingly never ending.
 We started out in 2005 with electronic medical record and practice management systems that are supposed to make record keeping easy, accessible and accurate for patient data. At that time, we were in the "forefront" of running a practice efficiently. Since then the insurance companies we deal with have created sets of rules that make it very difficult to file claims and get paid for work done for patients.
 Now running a medical practice is complicated by increasingly tight rules and actually earning a living as a physician has turned into a nightmare of restrictions. Claims are denied over and over again for things as simple as one numeral or character being printed out over the line into the next box on a claim form. Calling the insurance company to ask why a claim is being denied is a nightmare of waiting for a human to answer. Everything is so automated, there are times when it seems as if I am calling a big computer warehouse whose programming is set for continuous transfers and more wait time. There have been times when I did speak with a representative, but they are "unable to answer my question at this time". In other words, if the claim is printed incorrectly and they are even looking at it on their computer screen, they are not allowed to tell me what is wrong. I am just told to go to the company website for instructions on how to file a claim. !!!!
 And, this past year, many times educational or instructional information is offered as a "webinar". That means sitting in front of my computer while someone puts up a seminar in web form with a pointer moving quickly from one place to another in order to teach you what is now required.
 Sigh. So instead of human interaction and help that was there eight or nine years ago, now technology has robotisized (is this a word?) everything.
 I just can't do it anymore. Thankfully we have a wonderful woman who is very capable and strong who will now do that job. I have been training her for the past two months or so and now I am officially retired.
 The first few weeks of not going in to work were disorienting! Now I have what I wanted, but what am I going to do with it?  I was actually dizzy for about 10 days. No, really dizzy. Like bumping into walls and having to be careful when walking around my house. Driving was totally out of the question. The safest thing to do was to nap frequently. And read easy novels. And, try to keep the demons of worry at bay while this change of life followed its' course. I felt like that cat you see hanging on by its' claws: "Hang On!" says the sign.
 Fortunately, life moves on and visualizing just feeling comfortable helps create a new space to live in and make dreams in and find enthusiasm once more. My youngest son is getting married next month and has asked me to make them a Chuppah. Now that I have started, I feel grounded and focused and fully engaged with creative activity that is fun for me. For this, I am so grateful. I'm back to being me again and WoW, does that ever feel good!

No comments: